He’s fast becoming the No 1 heartthrob on this year’s X Factor and no one could be prouder than Matt Cardle’s parents David, 60, and Jenny, 59.
However the couple tell Now that life could have taken a very different turn when Matt was forced to battle a life-threatening illness.
Speaking from the family home in Little Maplestead in Essex, Jenny says: ‘Matt was two when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It was a hellish time and every parent’s worst nightmare.’
Matt had an aggressive Wilms’ tumour and underwent chemotherapy. He lost his hair and had a kidney removed, but his fighting spirit shone through and he managed to beat the illness.
‘It’s extremely emotional seeing him perform on TV,’ says his mum, who finds it incredible to compare the chronically sick toddler with the talented 27-year-old bringing the house down every Saturday night in front of millions of people.
‘He wanted to perform for a wide audience and he’s got probably the biggest audience he could ever have hoped for.’
David and Jenny, who run their own logistics company, say Matt was born to sing.
‘Music took over his life at an early age and it’s all he ever wanted to do,’ reveals his mum. ‘He did every job going just to scrape the money together to spend a few hours in a recording studio.’
See the full story about Matt Cardle in Now magazine dated 8 November 2010 – out now!